Ask just about any Java aficionado, and he/she will swear by the incredibly aromatic, delicious, and silky smooth taste of Kona coffee. The thing about these coffee beans from the Kona coast in Hawaii is that they spoil your taste buds for other regular coffee beans. If you pick the best Kona coffee brands, then don’t even think about going back to a different sort of bean.
However, Kona coffee beans are quite expensive. On top of that, there are plenty scammers out there who dilute the Kona coffee content with inferior, cheap beans. And some of them don’t even use Kona beans.
This means you have to track down the best 100% Kona coffee. And lucky for you, I‘ve done that already!
Table of Contents
- 12 Best Kona Coffee Beans Brands Reviews 2019
- Imagine Kona Coffee Beans 100% Kona Hawaii Whole Bean
- Volcanica Coffee Tanzania Peaberry Coffee Whole Bean
- Kona Gold Coffee Whole Beans
- Blue Horse Farm-Fresh 100% Kona Coffee Whole Beans
- Hawaiian Gold Kona Blend Coffee
- Hawaiian Kona Extra Fancy Coffee
- Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffee Vanilla Macadamia Nuts Ground Coffee
- Hualalai Estate 100% Pure Premium Kona Coffee
- Royal Kona Coffee for Royalty 100% Kona Coffee Whole Bean
- Mulvadi 100 Percent Kona Coffee Whole Bean
- Mark Ferrari Specialty Coffees 100% Pure Kona Whole Bean Coffee
- Mountain Thunder 100% Kona Coffee
- Kona Coffee – What is it?
- Kona Coffee – What does it Taste Like?
- Kona Coffee – Why is it so Expensive?
- Kona Coffee – Beware of Kona Coffee Scammers
- Kona Coffee – Understanding the “Grade”
- Kona Coffee – Where to buy it?
- Kona Coffee – It’s all up to you now!
12 Best Kona Coffee Beans Brands Reviews 2019
Imagine Kona Coffee Beans 100% Kona Hawaii Whole Bean
There are so many exceptional qualities to talk about here. So let me begin by declaring that you’re looking at the best Hawaii coffee beans. This medium-dark roast Kona coffee by Imagine contains only pure Kona beans. The ones that are grown in the rich, fertile volcanic soil of the Kona region in Hawaii!
The coffee grade here is Extra Elaborate. In simple words, it’s the highest distinction in terms of weight, size, and no defects. Only 10% of all Kona coffee shares this particular rating.
As for the taste of the coffee, it’s plenty robust and sweet without any bitterness or acidity. The medium-dark roast offers an incredibly rich and smooth flavor with an intense focus on caffeine.
You should know that the coffee beans are subjected to air roasting. The process of air roasting delivers a better brew no matter the brewing method you plan to use. Be it the French Press, drip machine, automatic coffee maker, etc.
These are nothing but premium quality coffee beans that, when compared to any other, enjoy the upper hand. The proof of which is the Extra Fancy grade distinction.
- Robust and sweet Arabica coffee beans.
- Shade-grown to preserve the distinct flavors.
- The rich aroma and very shiny texture ensure freshness.
- The slightly burnt aftertaste is a part of the sipping experience.
Volcanica Coffee Tanzania Peaberry Coffee Whole Bean
Have you ever tried the best Kona peaberry coffee? If not, then it’s time to do that. This Tanzania Peaberry Coffee by Volcanica is a truly remarkable option. The brand imports exotic gourmet beans that offer an unparalleled taste. There’s no doubt that Volcanica delivers the finest quality coffee from all volcanic regions across the world.
As for these peaberry whole beans, they come from rich, fertile volcanic soil that produces only full-bodied coffee with an intense aroma. So this one, unquestionably, is rich and intense with a wonderfully acidic profile.
The cupping notes consist of mild sweet acidity, pleasantly dry finish, and buttery smooth body. The flavor notes are packed with light nougat, plum, and lemongrass. Meaning your brew is bound to taste sweet all the way.
The thing about peaberry coffee is that it’s unique in the sense the beans deliver a comparatively richer flavor. The flavor is also of a finer quality. And, no doubt, this medium roast makes way for all the true flavors to shine through for a delicious, rich coffee taste.
- Freshly roasted before packaging to preserve freshness.
- It’s the best organic Kona coffee.
- Heavenly, intense aroma.
- Weak coffee, so you have to use more beans.
Kona Gold Coffee Whole Beans
Now the next option comes from a brand fully aware of Kona rip-offs and false advertising. Kona Gold is not like most other manufacturers that use only 10% real Kona coffee beans and then add low-grade beans for the remaining batch. This medium/dark roast by Kona Gold contains 100% meticulously cultivated, authentic Kona beans from the Kona district of Hawaii.
The coffee grade here is Extra Fancy. As you might already know, it points in the direction of the highest quality of Kona beans. That means the shape, size, defect ratio, and moisture content of these beans are not disappointing factors.
The producer handpicks each bean and employs the wet-method for processing. Then come the sun-drying and air-roasting part. The outcome of which you can devour in the form of an aromatic and clean-tasting cup.
This is a medium/dark roast that combines fruity, crisp notes with the creamy hints of molasses plus brown sugar. It’s smooth coffee, minus any bitterness. And that’s a lot to look forward to.
- Extra Fancy (highest-quality grade) whole coffee beans.
- Very flavorful and full-bodied with a floral, fruity character.
- No acidic aftertaste, so no upset stomach.
- The roast is more dark than medium.
Blue Horse Farm-Fresh 100% Kona Coffee Whole Beans
Genuine coffee lovers are highly likely to choose Blue Horse Kona Coffee. And if you’re one of them, then here’s the deal. These whole beans prepare a brew that tastes exactly the way it’s born in the coffee maker. And this is black coffee with an incredibly pleasant palate and aroma! Much like craft beer or fine wine.
The coffee doesn’t taste like you have to add in a whole lot of cream, sugar, or flavored syrup just to satisfy your cravings. This is some real competition you’re dealing with here.
The Kona whole beans arrive fresh for the most delicious taste. Speaking of freshness, the packaging is solid to lock in all the freshness and lock out moisture.
As for the taste of the medium roast, it’s as bold as you would expect the best Kona coffee in Hawaii to be. There are some berry notes that the medium roast is quite popular for. It prepares delicate, light coffee. But if you prefer something stronger and fuller-bodied, then go for the dark roast. It’s wonderfully oily, bold, and rich with zero bitterness.
- Low-acidity Kona coffee beans.
- Flavor complexity is clean and distinctive.
- Smooth aroma with vanilla-cinnamon hints.
- Medium roast is a bit lacking in terms of body.
Hawaiian Gold Kona Blend Coffee
Here’s another batch of delightfully splendid whole bean coffee by Hawaiian Gold. The coffee lives up to the standards of estate-grown, high-mountain 100-percent Arabica coffee beans. The flavors here are indulgently smooth and deeply rich. And they fuse well to create a very irresistible aftertaste.
Hawaiian Gold roasts coffee in limited batches to ensure proper release of the intense flavors of each coffee bean. For the process of roasting, the brand combines its expertise with scientific precision. So you can enjoy even the subtle characteristics of this estate-grown, high-mountain coffee.
It’s a medium roast that brews a smooth-bodied, delicately aromatic, and rich caffeine-infused beverage. The taste of each brew you prepare is vibrant with an exotic character that enhances the overall coffee flavor.
The bag consists of Hawaiian-grown, Fancy-grade Kona mixed with high-mountain-grown Arabica coffee beans. It’s one of the very few authentic, high-quality Kona blends out there.
- The medium roast has an even-flavored nutty body.
- Not overpoweringly strong, thus no bitter aftertaste.
- Finishing notes are full of fruity and cherry hints.
- It’s a Kona blend, not 100% Kona coffee.
Hawaiian Kona Extra Fancy Coffee
High-quality single-origin coffees are very rare to come by. So when they do, it’s best to make the most of that opportunity. The Hawaiian Kona Extra Fancy Coffee is very popular for its pleasing aroma and full-bodied flavor. These Kona beans come from the volcanic soils of Hawaii.
It’s not a blend by the way, like the previous one. The coffee beans used are pure Kona. As for the roast, it’s a medium roast. So the beans are a deep brown color. It’s the perfect look of Kona coffee. But irrespective of how they look, the characteristics and qualities are truly remarkable.
These are not like cheap, over-roasted Arabica beans that are so widely available these days. You know the ones that leave a bitter aftertaste in your mouth? So you can breathe a sigh of relief in knowing that your brew is going to taste smooth with no bitterness whatsoever.
It’s impossible you’ll want to go back to your old regular coffee once you exhaust the generous quantity of Kona beans in here.
- Kona flavor is unmistakable.
- It has a smooth chocolate velvety finish.
- Fresh beans with no bitterness and minimal acidity.
- There’s no fruity taste.
Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffee Vanilla Macadamia Nuts Ground Coffee
Ever tried the best instant Kona coffee? If yes, I’m sure that ground version of yours is not likely to come even close to the aromatic, delicious, and simply indescribably satisfying taste of this Vanilla Macadamia Nuts Coffee.
The delicate blend of Hawaiian-grown macadamia nut and rich vanilla is hard to beat. No wonder this flavor is such a popular choice among Kona coffee and regular coffee drinkers.
Needless to say, the coffee beans are grown in the Kona coast. It’s where the elements of nature combine for creating an ideal coffee growing and thriving conditions all year round. The Kona beans are blended with the finest Arabica coffee beans for a unique gourmet taste.
It’s a medium roast that offers smooth flavor with deliciously sweet vanilla and mild macadamia undertones. Even with heavy cream or on ice, the brew tastes heavenly. So it’s not that the ground coffee limits the way you like to have your caffeine-infused beverage at whatever time of the day.
- Infused with strong hints of macadamia and vanilla.
- Mildly flavored; not too weak or too strong.
- It’s bold and sweet ground coffee.
- Only 10% Kona coffee included, the remainder is Arabica.
Hualalai Estate 100% Pure Premium Kona Coffee
Coming from a brand that only uses high-grade coffee, this medium-dark roast is superior in many ways. The coffee beans are taken from the same estate and roasted together. This explains how the roast achieves consistency. In here, it’s almost impossible to find a single bean that’s over-roasted or that tastes burnt.
Since the roasting is done so carefully, it’s only logical to assume that the Hawaiian coffee company also takes care of the temperature. Needless to say, the beans are roasted at an optimal temperature.
Now let’s move on to the taste and aroma of these Kona coffee beans. The former is silky smooth and the latter is heavenly. On top of that, the flavor is full-bodied with balanced acidity.
In short, everything you expect from Kona-grown coffee is a part of the current experience. And the best way to describe this premium Kona coffee is by using the words “very flavorful” and “incredibly smooth.”
- The medium roast is consistently sized, roasted, and flavored.
- Smooth-tasting with a fruity aroma.
- Not acidic, thus easy on the tummy.
- It’s more of a dark roast than medium-dark.
Royal Kona Coffee for Royalty 100% Kona Coffee Whole Bean
What makes this medium roast worthy of your consideration? Well, for starters, the medium roast has a superbly smooth and aromatic character. It’s certified Hawaiian Kona coffee that is available in both the whole bean and ground version. I’m reviewing the whole beans.
The big and flavorful coffee beans are roasted expertly for producing a consistent cup of delicious, rich Kona coffee. But it’s the lack of bitterness that steals the limelight. So you can devour your coffee without having to deal with any bitter aftertaste.
Every cup of black coffee you prepare with this tastes full-flavored and smooth. You don’t even need to add milk, cream, or any sweet flavorings to fall in love with the unmistakable Kona flavor. The subtle hints of earthiness and mellow taste invade your taste buds even if you like your coffee black.
Pick just about any Hawaiian coffee and you’ll see how this Royal Kona gives that brand a run for its money.
- It’s a strong enough medium roast.
- The beans are pleasantly dark and oily.
- Less acidic and very smooth.
- No delicious aroma whatsoever.
Mulvadi 100 Percent Kona Coffee Whole Bean
What makes this Kona coffee so special is its alkaline-based nature. Meaning the coffee is not acidic at all, thus good for health. You might already know by now that Kona coffee is quite recognized for its refreshing aroma and smoothness. So can you expect such deliciousness from this Mulvadi gourmet roast? Yes, totally!
It has an incredibly pleasant bold taste that doesn’t leave any bitterness in the mouth after every sip. It tastes just how Hawaiian coffee should. So there are no disappointments there.
The thing about Mulvadi Kona is that it’s an excellent combination of price and quality. Premium coffee like this is hard to give up once your taste buds come in contact with it.
- The Kona coffee is not acidic but alkaline-based.
- It offers a very smooth nutty flavor.
- Only 100% Kona coffee beans are included.
- The roast is very strong; not fit for light coffee drinkers.
Mark Ferrari Specialty Coffees 100% Pure Kona Whole Bean Coffee
What you see here is Kona coffee that has been roasting for more than 25 years. And I’m talking about pure Kona, which is considered to be so fine and popular today. This whole bean coffee has a very distinctive smooth and rich taste. Plus, the aroma is packed with chocolate and nutty hints.
The limited yield and superior quality certainly add value to the current Kona-grown coffee. The roast is medium-level with slightly dark notes. This is what gives the beans the full-bodied character and the exceptional flavor dimension.
The unique character is plenty robust and sweet with a wonderful aroma. The roast is exactly what you’d expect from something medium to dark. And the Kona coffee beans seem to be of the highest quality, uniformly. So consistency is a huge part of the sipping experience here.
And trust me; you don’t have to be a lunatic about caffeine (much like me) to appreciate the flavor, taste, and aroma of Mark Ferrari Specialty Coffees.
- The depth of flavor and aroma is truly remarkable.
- Kona beans roasted in small, fresh batches.
- Slightly heavy roast but without the burnt taste.
- Not the best choice for light coffee drinkers.
Mountain Thunder 100% Kona Coffee
Grown in the Kona coffee belt of Hawaii, this medium roast by Mountain Thunder offers the best flavor and the most aromatic cup of fresh brew. What I’m reviewing here is the Vienna (medium) roast popular as a gourmet roast. This is a ground version you’re looking at and not whole beans.
The packaging involves nitrogen-flushing and vacuum-sealing to preserve all the freshness, taste, and aroma of the delicious, rich Kona coffee.
Small-batch roasting is the reason why ground coffee tastes full-bodied and full-flavored. The coffee is roasted and ground right before getting shipped to you. So maximum flavor/freshness retention is inevitable!
This Mountain Thunder stuff is so amazing that you’ll forget all about regular coffee. Even if it’s from Starbucks!
- The flavor is smooth, strong, and not bitter.
- Coffee bag is nitrogen-flushed and vacuum-sealed.
- The ground coffee offers a consistent grind size.
- Not the best quality Kona coffee.
Kona Coffee – What is it?
Coffee from the Kona coast of Hawaii; that’s where the beans come from. But let me be more specific. Kona coffee consists of Arabica beans grown on the Hawaiian northern-district and southern-district slopes of Hualalai and Maina Loa.
Think of the sparkling, bubbly white wine coming from Champagne, France. Only when it’s taken from that particular region does it taste and smell like pure champagne. The same applies to Kona coffee. Only when cultivated in the Kona Hawaiian region do the beans get described and even marketed as 100% Kona.
These coffee beans are subjected to perfect conditions at the time of growing. Sunny mornings and cloudy or rainy afternoons are ideal for coffee cultivation. The mild climate and slightly windy weather of the slopes in Hawaii also contribute to developing the exceptional character of Kona beans.
But it’s the fertile, mineral-rich volcanic soil that makes the Kona district a coffee-growing paradise. It’s what helps coffee plants to thrive. Every coffee farm in Kona produces a different type of coffee bean. And this depends on the individual microclimate. Isn’t that amazing!
Kona Coffee – What does it Taste Like?
Genuine Kona coffee beans offer a distinctive flavor profile with a blend of six different characteristics.
- 1A sweet fragrance that your every brew is bound to give off.
- 2Overpowering flavor notes full of berry, chocolate, caramel, or honey. Which one it is depends on which Kona farm the coffee beans come from.
- 3Rich, moderate sweetness Kona beans are so popular for.
- 4Low-level to mid-level coffee acidity. This means Kona coffee doesn’t upset the stomach.
- 5Smooth-bodied; which once again implies that the coffee is easy to digest and even slides down your throat smoothly.
- 6The nutty, citrusy aftertaste that lingers on the tongue for a while.
So it’s not just the unique Kona coffee flavor that genuine caffeine lovers find the most appealing. Even the physical effects of consuming this coffee are quite pleasant. Kona coffee doesn’t make you feel jittery like regular Java. On the contrary, the coffee calms and rejuvenates your senses.
The flavor profile of Kona coffee beans, as I’ve already told you, differs from farm to farm. There are some beans that have a more berry-like aroma. Then a few of them give off a distinctive vanilla fragrance.
The flavor notes also vary slightly. Despite the differences, all Kona coffee beans deliver a smooth, full-flavored, rich, and mellow brew.
Kona Coffee – Why is it so Expensive?
If you’ve checked out the products I’ve reviewed in this post, then you know that each of them is comparatively more expensive than standard coffee beans.
The best Kona coffee brand doesn’t even come close to the cheaper coffees grown in large amounts at huge plantations. Kona coffee is cultivated on a small/limited scale. This suggests that the process is not only labor-intensive but also time-consuming.
Kona coffee beans growing season spans throughout the 12 months of the year. The coffee plants tend to bloom and the natural pollination occurs only in February and March. Then the fruits start to develop between the months of April and August. Following that, from September to January, the ripe fruits get harvested.
Now you should know that Kona coffee trees take around 3 years for bearing fruit. And when that happens, every tree has the capacity to produce only 25 lbs of delicious coffee cherries. Around 8 lbs of cherries provide a single pound of coffee, roughly speaking. So just one coffee tree yields 3 lbs of coffee each season.
At the moment, there are about 700 Kona coffee manufacturers in Hawaii. And it’s only these producers that are responsible for supplying the best pure Kona coffee to the entire world.
Even the process of cherry-picking contributes to the expensive price factor here. Once the fruit of the coffee ripens, it goes from the color green to dark red. No wonder the ripened fruits are known as cherries. Each cherry contains seeds that take the form of coffee beans.
Producers pick these coffee cherries manually, which makes the task extremely labor-intensive. So why don’t they choose to use a machine instead? It’s because not all coffee cherries ripen at once. So they have to handpick only the ones that are ready. And that means more effort.
The Kona district’s volcanic landscape is ideal for coffee to thrive. But the region is also very rocky and hilly. This makes the process of mechanical cultivation as well as harvesting even more difficult. Needless to say, Kona coffee is not easy to cultivate for coffee producers. And that explains the hefty price tag.
Kona Coffee – Beware of Kona Coffee Scammers
It’s not uncommon to come across coffee brands wanting to make the most of this opportunity. And, mind you, there are many falsely marketed and cheap Kona coffee products out there.
So how do you determine which brand is selling the best Hawaiian Kona coffee? Here’s the solution!
Don’t Buy Kona Blends
The real Kona coffee is a limited commodity. This explains the high cost of coffee beans. So if you stumble upon a company that claims to manufacture Kona coffee blends at an affordable price, take that as a warning sign. No matter what, choose only pure Kona coffee.
The Hawaiian law states that every “Kona blend” should contain a minimum of 10-percent certified Kona coffee beans. So brands looking to earn a profit use only 10% Kona beans. Not a bean more! So the remaining 90-percent consists of cheap-quality city roast and dark roast junk.
But there are also companies that use zero certified Kona coffee beans. They’re full-on scammers that don’t care about anything but making money.
The Hawaiian law may be strict, but many places fail to take notice of or don’t care about companies using the label “Kona” for merely marketing purposes. These kinds of brands use just a fraction of or even zero Kona coffee beans.
So you have every reason to choose only the best Hawaiian Kona coffee brand. Or coffee labeled as 100% pure Kona. Keep away from Kona blends!
Only Buy Kona Beans From Kona Region
The Hawaiian Kona belt is known for its coffee-friendly microclimate. But such weather condition is not found throughout Hawaii. Most other parts and islands, including Kauai and Maui, are not suited for the farming of coffee.
Did you know that sugarcane farming in the majority of Hawaii strips off all the nutrition from the soil? So this clay-like soil is not as fertile as the rich volcanic land of Kona. At the same time, the climate in the greater part of Hawaii isn’t favorable for coffee cultivation either.
When coffee brands mention “Hawaiian Coffee” on their packaging, it’s only to falsely advertise high quality. So don’t fall prey to such misleading information. At the same time, not every Hawaiian coffee quality is first-class. But there are many individual Hawaiian non-Kona beans that are quite commendable on their own.
So the moral of the story here is that only Kona region coffee is the best. Otherwise, for your average coffee, you’d be better off with Brazilian coffee beans.
Kona Coffee – Understanding the “Grade”
The thing about Hawaiian coffee is that it goes through meticulous testing. Every batch receives a particular grade from Hawaii’s agricultural department. So if you wish to buy the cream of the crop, then make sure to check the grade of the Kona coffee.
There are eight different grades you get to choose from. Extra Fancy is the highest quality while Mixed Natural Prime is the lowest quality. And what falls in between are Fancy, No. 1, Select, Prime, No. 3, and Natural Prime.
The highest quality consists of the highest-class Kona coffee beans. The grade gets affected by characteristics like bean rarity and size. It doesn’t really have an impact on the coffee taste. This means the Extra fancy grade contains uniformly colored and sized coffee beans with zero defective beans. Needless to say, it’s also the most expensive kind of Kona coffee.
Kona Coffee – Where to buy it?
Genuine Kona coffee producers sell their products on their very own websites. So you can purchase your caffeine fix directly from these websites.
You can also buy from KFCA farms directly. This way you go home with the freshest coffee. And while doing so, you also support the community of small farmers.
And the last option is to get your Kona from Amazon. So it’s a good thing that I’ve reviewed the best rated Kona coffee brands. So just pick one from the top 12 options I’ve shortlisted.
Kona Coffee – It’s all up to you now!
I have reviewed all kinds of Kona coffee. There are small, affordable bags that contain high-quality coffee. Then you’ll also find luxurious options like Kona peaberry. As for those who prefer medium roasts with complex flavors, there are a few Kona beans to tickle that fancy as well.
Pick whatever you wish; you simply can’t go wrong with 100% pure Kona coffee.